Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2018

ByDave Hall

How Glenn found a ‘very good resource’ at CRE

By ‘coincidence’, Glenn and Kim were exhibiting on stands next to each other at CRE 2003 – 15 years later they may well share a stand at CRE 2018, as a married couple.

Glenn Tainio was at CRE 2003 on behalf of Mercy Ships. The Christian Research Association, founded by Dr Peter Brierley, was exhibiting on the adjacent stand – manned by Peter’s daughter, Kim.

‘I used to serve as chief officer on MV Anastasis – Youth With a Mission/Mercy Ships’ former hospital ship. Temporarily based in their UK office, I was asked to man the mission’s stand for one day only,’ explains Glenn. ‘Kim was next door and in any quieter moments we began to chat about art, leadership and much else besides. At the end of a busy day I left with a few leaflets from her Christian Research Association material.’

Until this point Glenn’s dating philosophy was to date someone only after getting to know the person over a long period of time in a church or mission context.

‘My approach was quite sensible actually,’ reflects Glenn, ‘but I did what I had always said I would not do. After only meeting her for a day, I rang Christian Research and asked Kim if she would come on a date. She was terribly embarrassed in front of her two work colleagues who had noticed how well we had got on!’

Nonetheless, Kim agreed and the pair went for a walk in beautiful Kelsey Park, Beckenham.

‘Soon afterwards I served another year as chief officer and then as captain of a YWAM mission ship in the South Pacific while our relationship continued long distance,’ says Glenn. ‘After returning to the UK we married in Tonbridge.’

The pair now serve in ReachAcross, an organisation dedicated to reaching Muslims with the Gospel. Glenn is UK national director and Kim is communications officer. The couple hope to return to Sandown Park this year for the Kisumu Children Trust, stand YZ 9 – a charity also founded by Dr Peter Brierley, in which they have both been involved as trustees.

‘I went to CRE and found a very good resource,’ says Glenn. ‘My wife!’

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Church planting: Sittingbourne sows and Stewardship tends

Church planting can be a costly business – but a new support team can help people over those first financial hurdles.

In the past 12 months, 25 new churches have been launched using Stewardship’s services, including Sittingbourne in Kent. Another 92 plants are currently in discussion with the organisation.

‘Our pioneering guide informs church planters,’ explains Stewardship’s John Keskeys. ‘It also highlights numerous pitfalls that many new church leaders are unaware of. We provide free one-to-one consultations with them and their teams.’

Visitors to Stand S38 at CRE 2018 will be given a pack of cards to help identify practical things that may be relevant to them, whether they are involved with a church plant or not.

‘We help more than 2,000 churches and Christian charities each year but still 80 per cent of the people we meet do not realise the full extent of what we do,’ says John. ‘We are committed to growing healthy and sustainable churches, so the world can encounter Jesus through the generosity of his church.’

Stewardship, which has been around since 1906, supports every part of church life. In particular, the organisation makes financial giving easier and enables churches to make the best possible use of Gift Aid legislation. It also offers help to that unsung local hero – the church treasurer! Areas covered include church payroll, accounts, annual audits and property management.

Gordon Watson was sent by Cornerstone City Church to launch Hope Church in Sittingbourne (pictured).

‘Stewardship have been wonderfully helpful as we have gone about establishing a pioneering work,’ he recounts. ‘We’ve opened a Stewardship account which has enabled us to receive Gift Aided donations from a wide pool of friends and family via social media who weren’t already supporting us financially.

‘We’re confident that as the work grows Stewardship will provide us with the tools to ensure we are financially sound and managing growth well. It’s a genuine blessing to be in partnership with them!’

• Stewardship are on stand S38 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Milk and mission: Send a Cow celebrates 30 years and two million people supported

A charity born because UK farmers were forced to slaughter healthy dairy cows, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

In 1988, many UK dairy farmers were outraged by strict EU milk quotas which forced them to throw away good quality milk and even slaughter their herds. At the same time, families in Uganda were recovering from the country’s brutal civil war which had destroyed farm land and livestock.

Motivated to help, a small group of Christian dairy farmers from the west country decided to donate some of their own dairy cows to rural families in Uganda. It was a massive step of faith, supported in prayer.

On 4 July 1988, 32 cows were flown from Gatwick Airport to Entebbe, Uganda and given to struggling families living in the Mityana region. With nutritious milk to drink and sell and manure to nourish the soil and boost crop yields, the families and the cows thrived. Send a Cow was born.

The charity continued to send livestock from the UK to Uganda until 1996 when the BSE crisis took hold. Since then, the charity has sourced all livestock from within Africa. Comprehensive training in animal husbandry and welfare is also provided, ensuring the animals are well cared for and productive.

Send a Cow works in six countries in Africa and provides a proven package of support and training in farming, hygiene, business skills and gender equality. More than two thirds of the people supported are women. Working with families for up to five years, the organisation helps people to grow their own food, earn an income and lift themselves out of poverty permanently. Two million people across Africa have been supported by the international development charity since it began.

‘The charity now does much more than provide cows and works with rural communities to make the most of their most precious resource – the soil beneath their feet,’ says Send a Cow’s Ann Hatton.

• To find out more how your church can partner with Send a Cow visit stand FC14 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Guess the age of the lectern built to last

Comedian Steve Coogan may have aged a little over the years – but his lectern probably looks as new as the day it left the workshop in Weston-super-Mare.

In fact, Fuller’s Finer Furniture have seen their lecterns graced by members of the royal family, two Archbishops of Canterbury and the man who made Alan Partridge a fictional national treasure. Coogan takes his own Fuller’s lectern with him on all his UK speaking tours.

‘The advantage of being both designer and manufacturer is that we can gauge trends as technology and requirements change,’ explains Paul Fuller, who founded the company in 1985. ‘Two recent developments have been the inclusion of a monitor and tablet rest on the desk top.’

And to show their lecterns stand the test of time, Paul is offering CRE 2018 visitors a chance to win a high street shopping voucher worth £40 in a special competition at Sandown Park.

‘We are demonstrating how well our lecterns age by borrowing back several in service for years,’ continues Paul. ‘These will not be available post show. Their owners do not wish to part with them!’

For your chance to win the voucher simply collect an entry form from Fullers on stand 133, visit the seminar rooms where the lecterns are being used and guess the age of each one, together with that of the lectern displayed on Stand S133. Complete the form with your estimates, together with your contact details and hand them to a member of staff on Stand S133 by 3pm on Thu 18 Oct. The winner will be drawn from the correct entries at 3.30 pm on the same afternoon.

• Fullers Finer Furniture are on stand S133 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Twelve-year-old Jonathan will speak up for the speechless

A 12-year-old best-selling author will help open CRE – and speak up for the speechless.

Jonathan Bryan, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is entirely non-verbal. He uses an alphabet board to spell out everything he wants to say and in his book, Eye Can Write, reflects on his Christian faith.

Jonathan’s father, Rev Christopher Bryan is rector of Gauzebrook and area dean of North Wilts. His son’s faith, rooted in a profound experience of the life to come, is both ‘hugely inspiring and challenging. The prospect of going to be with Christ is such a strong and real thing it totally informs his attitude to death, getting ill and everything. That really makes you think about your own attitude.’

“Jonathan

In the days after Jonathan’s birth, and for the first time in her life, Jonathan’s mother, Chantal, prayed until she was ‘spent’, joined by others over the country — strangers, in many instances.

‘God answered our prayers,’ she told the Church Times. ‘Jonathan survived, and, OK, he is stuck in a body here that doesn’t work very well, but, actually, what has been transformed out of that is something that none of us would have thought of in the early days. His faith encourages others. I say now sometimes that he is more healed, in a way, than the rest of us. A lot of people are still trying to find out who they are and what they are, and he is happy with who he is.’

The Bryan family have set up a charity, Teach Us Too (a panel about the organisation will be on display at CRE), promoting the right for all children to be taught to read and write, whatever their label or diagnosis. Three more organisations will exhibit under the Churches for All banner – each committed to improving universal access to church buildings and programmes. Count Everyone In, The Lodge Trust, and Torch Trust will offer visitors a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues.

“Marilyn

Opening the exhibition will be singer/songwriter Marilyn Baker, blind almost from birth, who will be accompanied by a choir from Notre Dame school in Cobham, using Makaton, a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate.

Gordon Temple, executive officer for Churches for All, says: ‘CRE presents a great opportunity to support and encourage churches as they strive to welcome, include and involve people living with disabilities in every aspect of church life.’

• Churches for All will hold a seminar at CRE 2018 (12pm, Tue 16 Oct)

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Time to get your hands on the new Youth Bible

Bible Society and Youth for Christ will introduce a new Bible at CRE 2018 that meets the needs of young people and connects with their world.

‘We listened to the ideas and suggestions of dozens of young people, who told us what they would love to see in this new production,’ says Bible Society’s Jack Imbert-Terry.

‘Their suggestions included information to help them dig deeper into the message of Scripture. They also asked for challenges to encourage them to focus on what they read and tools to help them act on it, with time to reflect and space to create – through journalling, drawing and adding colour.’

The result is a Good News Bible Youth Edition, released in time for CRE 2018, with extra features especially written by the team from Youth for Christ, including:

• More than 400 creative ‘interactions’ in the margins of the Bible, with plenty of room for notes and drawings.

• A full-page introduction to every book of the Bible, explaining what it’s about, why we should read it and how it fits with the whole story, spotlighting key characters.

• 32 colour pages including journalling ideas, information on what the Bible is and how it came together, as well as a timeline of events and Bible-based advice on issues challenging young people in today’s society.

Another major feature, directly linked to the Bible, will be a dedicated YouTube channel, with 30 videos about the Bible and how young people can apply it to their own lives today.

‘We are deeply excited about the Good News Bible Youth Edition,’ says Laura Hancock, church resources director at Youth for Christ. ‘Our heart is to see young people’s lives changed by Jesus, and this Bible is all about that!’

• The Good News Bible will be on stand S18 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Introducing the positive Halloween treat that’s right on the button

The 2018 Meaningful Treat Pack will be available at CRE, with the eve of All Saints – or Halloween – in mind.

Building on the success of last year’s initiative, the pack has a new challenge activity poster to help young people focus on being a hero and a light in the world. There is also a bag of Swiss Fairtrade milk chocolate buttons in every pack.

‘At £1 a head and with all new content, the pack is suitable for light parties, outreach events, schools, or for children who trick or treat on 31st October,’ says Meaningful Chocolate founder David Marshall. ‘Each case of 30 packs includes a leader’s guide with ideas. There is also a national competition asking children to nominate their leading lights.’

The activity poster, which can be used in groups or at home, has eight challenges which include picture puzzles, a word search, a call to buy Fairtrade, say a prayer and leading light competition with a prize.

‘It also challenges children to give a treat to someone less well off by donating to a children’s charity,’ says David, ‘while encouraging the journey of faith – taking a similar approach to our Real Easter Eggs and Real Advent Calendars.’

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Christian venues: Hiring a room is now just a click away

A new project that enables organisations to find and hire quality Christian venues will be introduced at CRE 2018.

‘All places of worship and allied venues can have a free listing on the website, detailing basic information,’ says Nick Gazard, of freshSPRING, the organisation behind the initiative.

People search the website for suitable venues – helping churches listed generate more income. While some websites currently identify venues in particular areas, they do not tend to deal with the possibilities of renting a room for a special occasion, business meeting or family get-together.

‘Even if they have space available, they rarely identify essential items, such as the size of the room and the number of tables available,’ says Nick. ‘Often, there isn’t even a photograph to view.’

The new website offers an easy-to-follow search system and identifies what is available, at what price.

Christian Venues is a project of non-profit freshSPRING Design, in partnership with local churches and Tortilla Hosting.

Graphic designers by profession, the company makes websites for charities, churches and small businesses as a non-profit and recently revamped Your Catholic Legacy.

‘We started up when I realised many churches were creating websites at large cost and with very little help,’ says Nick. ‘We offered advice on design, graphics and marketing – including specialist courses. We try to create an ongoing relationship, to continue to the next level.’

• freshSPRING Design are on stand S35 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

From pew potatoes to daring disciples

Our commission is to make disciples, not pew potatoes – and Discipleship Wednesday at CRE 2018 will help us understand the difference.

Three seminars, taking different approaches to the same subject, are scheduled for Wednesday 17 October.

11am: How to make disciples who make disciples – Rev Brian Richardson, of Siloam Christian Ministries, talks about how Evangelism Explosion trains church members to effectively share their faith in everyday life.

12pm: Dare to disciple and see your church grow – Rev Cris Rogers, of All Hallows Church, Tower Hamlets, says our commission is to make disciples, not church attenders. How do we do it?

3pm: Holy Habits – Rev Andrew Roberts of BRF introduces the methodology behind a new and effective missional discipleship resource.

‘It is vital we help churches activate a thriving discipleship culture,’ says Rev Cris Rogers, Rector of All Hallows in Bow, East London.

‘Some of us struggle with the term “discipleship” and use “spiritual formation”. I will look at the differences between the evangelical understanding of discipleship and the more Catholic understanding of spiritual formation. Neither deliver biblical discipleship on their own but when the two merge we get a biblical picture of Jesus’ understanding of discipleship and formation.’

In Rev Brian Richardson’s seminar (11am) you will discover how Evangelism Explosion training, developed over the past 50 years, equips church members to make disciples.

‘I would like people to talk away with one key phrase in their mind,’ says Brian. ‘The key to discipleship is on the job training.’

Rev Andrew Roberts will introduce Holy Habits (3pm), a new resource to help churches engage more intentionally with discipleship. Based around 10 habits, the course is an easy-to-use, intergenerational approach to discipleship, and can be taken at the user’s own pace, though Andrew estimates the full course takes about two years.

‘And I’ll be offering some practical suggestions and ideas to introduce the initiative in your church,’ he explains.

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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ByDave Hall

Additional needs: Churches have a huge ministry opportunity

Three organisations will exhibit under the Churches for All banner at CRE 2018 – each committed to improving universal access to church buildings and programmes.

The initiative comes at a time when 10 million adults in the UK have a recognised disability – about one in five of the adult population. A further 700,000 children have one or more disabilities.

Exhibiting on stand B5, Churches for All is a partnership of UK Christian disability organisations. Count Everyone In, The Lodge Trust, and Torch Trust, all members of the association, will be at CRE offering visitors a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues.

Churches for All’s Mark Arnold has a son with additional needs.

‘Additional or special needs parenting is tough because there is so much more to cope with,’ he says. ‘An increasing numbers of diagnoses in children at one end of the age range, coupled with an increasing older population at the other, present a huge ministry area for churches that is growing all the time.

‘Everyone, including those with additional needs and disabilities, should be included and valued in church. I hope to inspire CRE visitors as their churches plan to become fully-inclusive.’

Gordon Temple, executive officer for Churches for All, says: ‘CRE presents a great opportunity to support and encourage churches as they strive to welcome, include and involve people living with disabilities in every aspect of church life.’

The Torch Trust is promoting Sight Loss Friendly Church, a new initiative to enable churches to become more inclusive of people with sight loss. Count Everyone In aims to enthuse local churches about being more welcoming and relevant to people with learning disabilities through their new Know and Grow training while the Lodge Trust provides spiritual support to adults with learning disabilities.

• Mark Arnold and team will speak on Churches for All at 12pm on Tue 16 Oct

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3

 

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Save the date for CRE 2018!
Join us at Sandown Park: 16-18 October 2018